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Rockport Technology Speakers: Custom Crossovers

richard12511

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#1
Anyone ever heard these speakers? or owned?

Looking at the stereophile measurements, they actually look to be really well engineered. Definitely way too expensive on performance metrics alone, but it's nice to see an uber high end brand with good measurements for once.

Watching one of their youtube videos, something interesting they said is that they make custom crossovers to compensate for driver differences. That is pretty cool. Similar to what Genelec does with The Ones, but instead of using DSP, they build a custom crossover to keep the speaker passive. Makes you wonder why they don't just go active. So much easier.
 

Frank Dernie

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#3
Anyone ever heard these speakers? or owned?

Looking at the stereophile measurements, they actually look to be really well engineered. Definitely way too expensive on performance metrics alone, but it's nice to see an uber high end brand with good measurements for once.

Watching one of their youtube videos, something interesting they said is that they make custom crossovers to compensate for driver differences. That is pretty cool. Similar to what Genelec does with The Ones, but instead of using DSP, they build a custom crossover to keep the speaker passive. Makes you wonder why they don't just go active. So much easier.
Custom crossovers to compensate for driver difference has been common in speakers for decades. There was even one published about 40, or maybe 50 years ago to linearise a cheap oval full range driver which was very popular and well regarded at the time.
B&W used to use this technique but are in the simple is better camp now, so their FR is nowhere near as good as it used to be :facepalm:.
The Goldmund Epilogs I bought almost 25 years ago have complex crossovers to linearise the response. They have gone active now but as @thewas wrote that market actually wants to have big flash amps on show too ;) and going DSP active has probably hurt Goldmund sales.
 
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richard12511

richard12511

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Thread Starter #5
Custom crossovers to compensate for driver difference has been common in speakers for decades. There was even one published about 40, or maybe 50 years ago to linearise a cheap oval full range driver which was very popular and well regarded at the time.
B&W used to use this technique but are in the simple is better camp now, so their FR is nowhere near as good as it used to be :facepalm:.
The Goldmund Epilogs I bought almost 25 years ago have complex crossovers to linearise the response. They have gone active now but as @thewas wrote that market actually wants to have big flash amps on show too ;) and going DSP active has probably hurt Goldmund sales.
Interesting that B&W used to do it. This is the first time I've heard of it in the passive domain. I think Revel/KEF check tolerances for proper pairing, but I don't think they actually make different crossovers for every speaker.

I do get the target market thing. It's a shame that Goldmund going active likely hurts sales. Going active is a good thing.
 
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richard12511

richard12511

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Thread Starter #6
Would guess one reason is the target market, most people spending 40k on loudspeakers want to play also with huge amps and fat cables. ;)
Indeed. I think there's a bias against actives in audiophilia. Steve G made a video talking about why he doesn't like actives and why they can never sound as good as passives. I think a lot of audiophiles have similar views.
 

Carl V

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#7
Custom tuned crossovers.... wasn’t this one of Peter Snells mfg strong points or claim to fame so to speak. I wonder how necessary that might be today with ‘better modern drivers’ with tighter manufacturing tolerances.
 

Χ Ξ Σ

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#8
I have heard these. I don't have a lot of audition experience but the setup in this room was simply the best I have ever heard in any audio store. I swore I could "see" the orchestra in front of me.

IMG_8958.JPG


Funny how at that time I thought it was the $100k+ dCS Vivaldi system doing the magic.:facepalm: Now I know better, I would say the magic came from the speakers and the room, perhaps mostly the room.

I loved listening to orchestral and jazz music there. When I switched to metal music and pop songs though, these heavily processed music tracks still sounded great but didn't have the "grit" of cheaper setups, hence a little surreal. Maybe the room was too quiet and not live enough.
 

MZKM

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#9
they actually look to be really well engineered.
They pay a lot to on-axis, but in the off-axis you see that even though it’s +/-45° and not the usual +/-90° that there is off-axis peaking at 3kHz and 8.5kHz, the former really showing up in JA’s in-room response (in red):


For ~$40,000 it sadly is likely better than many of its similarly priced competitors.

The Satori woofers measure well, I wonder what tweeter it uses.
https://hificompass.com/en/speakers/measurements/satori/satori-mw16tx-4
Ideally should be crossed at 1500Hz or lower.
 
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noobie1

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#10
I heard the Atria II at a high end store a few year ago. They sounded fantastic but I personally would prefer an Andrew Jones designed TAD over Rockports at the same MSRP.
 

tuga

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#12
Indeed. I think there's a bias against actives in audiophilia. Steve G made a video talking about why he doesn't like actives and why they can never sound as good as passives. I think a lot of audiophiles have similar views.

I'm not sure if this was common practice amongst all BBC supliers but Spendor used to (maybe still does) measure all drivers and code them accordingly with a coloured sticker so that if a driver were to fail you'd only have to get a drop-in replacement with the same colour code, and thus avoiding crossover adjustments.
A photo from a woofer of one of the SP9/1s I once owned:

 

Hon

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#13
Here's an explanation of Spica's crossover customization efforts: Spica ServiceCodes

I can imagine many reasons that Rockport does not follow the Genelec idea; active crossovers can address many issues, but one solution can't solve all cases.
 
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richard12511

richard12511

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Thread Starter #14
Here's an explanation of Spica's crossover customization efforts: Spica ServiceCodes

I can imagine many reasons that Rockport does not follow the Genelec idea; active crossovers can address many issues, but one solution can't solve all cases.
Are there performance issues that passive can solve that can't be solved in the active domain?
 
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